The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, is launching a new multimedia micro-site to highlight the plight of some five million registered Palestine refugees. The campaign, called “Peace Starts Here”, is being launched simultaneously in Jerusalem and Brussels, and marks United Nations Day and EU-UN Partnership Day. “Peace Start Here” features short films presented as central elements of micro-site that portrays the richness of life in the refugee camps, putting people first and concentrating on the human stories that lie behind the headlines. Viewers are invited to click through to a series of video portraits and be drawn into the world of the refugees.
"This campaign is what UNRWA is all about", said Commissioner-General, Filippo Grandi. "It is innovative, human, creative and showcases the opportunities and humanity that can exist amid a world that sometimes seems devoid of hope. I am delighted that we are launching it on UN Day and the day which celebrates our partnership with the European Union
The campaign consists of a series of films from each of the five fields in which UNRWA operates: Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. A one-minute montage of scenes of life from around the camps introduces the campaign and the film series. Original music for the film was composed and performed by Tareq Al Nasser and Nadera Omran.
The campaign site – www.peacestartshere.org – is being launched with four stories: a home demolition in Jerusalem, an orphan boy in Baqa’a, Jordan, an artist in Shatila Lebanon, and a young volunteer in Gaza. A total of fifteen stories will be rolled out over the course of three months, accompanied by information and photographs about the places and issues that they cover. Viewers will be invited to donate to UNRWA.
“One of the aims of this campaign is to create a real motional bond and to provoke discussion in online forums and social networks about Palestine refugees,” said UNRWA’s Arabic Language Spokesperson, Sami Mshasha. “We hope that people will post the films on Facebook, Twitter and other networks and stimulate a global conversation about this often forgotten issue.” The ultimate goal of the campaign is to unpack the idea of “Peace Starts Here” and to present Palestine refugees from a personal perspective, highlighting stories of perseverance and creativity in the face of the most challenging of circumstances.
SocDoc Studios, a documentary film and social media production and consulting company, produced the campaign and films in partnership with UNRWA.